What is the current situation of the pig production sector on a global level?

In the last 50 years, pig production has increased worldwide and -before COVID-19 pandemic- it was expected to continue increasing in the following decades. Global population growth is probably the main cause of the increasing demand of pork products.

Pigs are produced in different systems including from small local farms to big technological facilities. All types of pig farms may generate the same products for consumers, but efficency, use of natural resurces and land demand differe considerably.

In a study carried out in 2019, Lassaletta et al., stated that:

The sustainability of pig production systems for the coming decades will be based not only on the expected efficiency improvements at the level of animal breeds, but also on four additional pillars:

Use of alternative feed sources not competingwith human food

Reduction of the crude protein content in rations

The proper use of slurries as fertilizers through coupling of crop and livestock production

Moderation of the human pork consumption.


In 2020, the TOP-10 pig producing countries are led by China, followed by Europe (EU-27) and Unitated States. However, according to the USDA report, global pork production is expected to fall by 7% due to COVID-19 and African Swine Fever outbreaks. Ms Rusk said that:

It is likely the outbreak of COVID-19 has only slowed progress in China and strong export demand from Asian countries has provided producers with the incentive to expand herds. However, this is not enough to compensate for the decline expected in China and other nations affected by ASF

Swine Meat Production by Country in 1000 MT CWE 

1. China: 34000

2. EU: 24150

3. USA: 13176

4. Brazil: 4130

5. Russia: 3435

6. Vietnam: 2250

7. Canada: 2045

8. Mexico: 1460

9. Philippines: 1450

10. Korea: 1350



Luis Lassaletta, Fernando Estellés, Arthur H.W. Beusen, Lex Bouwman, Salvador Calvet, Hans J.M. van Grinsven, Jonathan C. Doelmana, Elke Stehfest, Aimable Uwizeye, HenkWesthoek. Future global pig production systems according to the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways Science of The Total Environment Volume 665, 15 May 2019, Pages 739-751. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.079




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